Fratellone Medical Associates

Herbs & HTN

Foxglove exerts its effects in heart failure by increasing the contractility in a positive way, it also can be used for cardiac rhythm abnormalities, aka cardiac arrhythmias. It is most commonly used to slow the heart rate for those individuals in an irregular rhythm called atrial fibrillation.

The clinical use of digitalis has a fine line. Both its use and toxic effects are very close. This means that the dose used for therapy is so close to the toxic dose that it must be managed with care. This is why blood levels are done for patients whom take digoxin. The dose must also be adjusted if the patient has kidney (renal) disease as the drug is excreted through the kidney.

Herbs for the heart can be varied. I want to concentrate on palpitations or extra heart beats. These are sometimes called extra systoles. These are also called arrhythmias. The best herb is Hawthorne (Cratageus oxyacantha). It improves coronary circulation, cardiac arrhythmias and weakness of the myocardium.